Kurt Loder Movie Reviews

Movie Review: War on Everyone

Michael Peña and Alexander Skarsgård on a mission to give cops a very bad name.

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War
Saban Films

The movie begins with a man in white-face makeup—a mime—running down a road. Some ways behind him, but catching up fast, is a car with two plain-clothes detectives in it, Terry Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) and Bob Bolaño (Michael Peña). As the cops bear down on their quarry, Bob turns to Terry and says, "You know, I always wondered: if you hit a mime, does he make a sound?"

And bang, zoom—we're off. War on Everyone, the latest film by Irish writer-director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard), is a buddy-cop movie that's been dropped on its head. The picture motors along on a rush of reprehensible trash talk—rude cracks about the Nation of Islam and the heartbreak of dyslexia ("It used to be called stupidity," Bob says), and insensitive observations about drag queens and even a callous aside about the pugilistic abilities of Stephen Hawking. A table full of Japanese businessmen doesn't escape unscathed, either.

Terry and Bob are frankly, even joyously corrupt. Terry cruises the streets with beer in hand, squeezing into tiny parking spots with no regard for the fenders of other vehicles. And when he and Bob nab one suspect, they wind up doing coke with him in a toilet stall, collapsing in giggles each time they remember they actually are cops. (Peña and Skarsgård appear to be having a ton of fun in this picture, with Peña, especially, revealing himself to be a virtuoso of scabrous invective.)

The story, which is not overly tight in its wrapping, concerns a robbery that has netted its perpetrators nearly a million dollars. Terry and Bob want this money, and their quest for it leads them through a pack of nutty characters, including a snotty English lord (Theo James) and his weird intersexual flunky (Caleb Landry Jones), a hopelessly low-level crook (Malcolm Barrett), and assorted lucha libre wrestlers and burqa-wearing tennis ladies. Also yapping at the boys' heels is their exasperated boss, Lieutenant Stanton (Paul Reiser), but what can he do about these guys (or about all the old Glen Campbell hits mysteriously adorning the movie's soundtrack)?

The only thing remotely real-ish about Terry and Bob's relationship is the affection they clearly feel for one another, despite their radically different off-the-job lifestyles. Bob is a dad with two dim-bulb kids, but also a cool wife (Stephanie Sigman) who's completely down with his larcenous ways. Terry, on the other hand—a pretty dim bulb himself—lives alone in a big luxe bachelor pad filled with… well, mainly filled with a sofa and a TV. But then a sharp little woman named Jackie (Tessa Thompson) enters Terry's life, bringing with her a touch of class, or something sort of like it. (Discussing a previous boyfriend, she tells Terry, "He wrote a well-regarded monograph on Andre Breton. He had a nice dick, too.")

On the trail of the money they covet, and a pair of round-trip tickets to Iceland (don't ask), the two partners spill much blood in the course of causing many injuries. (Squinting in exasperation at one particularly noisy victim, Bob says, "Can we play a little game of shut-the-fuck-up?") But there's no not liking these guys, even as the pain and property damage mount. After all, Bob's operating philosophy has been clear from the beginning. "If it ain't broke," he says, "break it."

NEXT: "School Choice Makes Things Much Better for Everyone"[*]

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  1. A table full of Japanese businessmen doesn’t escape unscathed, either.

    The reprehensible trash talk should’ve been nipped in the bud.

      1. What is all this gobbeldy GOOK?!?!?

        1. The word “Gook” is the world’s best slur. It is the Korean word for “people” – in the Korean language “Hangook” means “Korean people”.

          It’s the perfect boomerang slur – while they hear us calling them “people” to them we are all “Gook”s.

          1. The official 50’s slur for the Portugese was Portagook.

            Source – Dad was in the AF and stationed in the Azores

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  2. “Now look at us! Trombley hasn’t killed anyone, I am half a world away from good Thai pussy, and Brad’s out in fuckbutt Iraq huntin’ for dragons in a MOPP suit that smells like three weeks of ball sweat.”

  3. (Discussing a previous boyfriend, she tells Terry, “He wrote a well-regarded monograph on Andre Breton. He had a nice dick, too.”)

    Who did, the previous boyfriend or Andre Breton? And considering Terry had Bob (a dick) as a partner, did she mean her previous boyfriend or Andre Breton employed a nice detective? Dialog’s so ambiguous these days.

    1. The previous boyfriend. Geez, it’s like you don’t even pronoun.

  4. Kinda want to see this movie….

  5. When I read the words War On Everybody, I thought “Wow! That was fast! A documentary on El Se?or Presidente Bananero Trumpo’s first two weeks in the job!”

    But no. It’s just another cop movie.

    1. War On Everyone.

      Damned auto-correct…

  6. Long years of experience has proven that any time you make a movie about men (or women) acting like criminal animals, but in a charismatic way, Americans will embrace that movie and those characters, and rather than damning them, they will strive to emulate them, or at least secretly admire them. This tendency is possibly related to the cultural force that propelled Trump to the presidency.

    The examples are too numerous to list here, but Scarface (De Palma 1983) is a good example.

    1. Its also the same force that nearly got Clinton elected, got the other Clinton elected, along with Obama and Nixon. Oh, let’s not forget the Kennedys.

    2. So, when is Trump going to say ‘meet my little friend’, and who’s he going to say it to?

      1. Melania of course! Oh wait, Baron exists so he already has.

  7. The picture motors along on a rush of reprehensible trash talk

    Robby Soave hardest hit.

  8. The picture motors along on a rush of reprehensible trash talk?rude cracks about the Nation of Islam and the heartbreak of dyslexia (“It used to be called stupidity,” Bob says), and insensitive observations about drag queens and even a callous aside about the pugilistic abilities of Stephen Hawking. A table full of Japanese businessmen doesn’t escape unscathed, either.

    Sounds like they probably came up with the dialogue by going to cop bars and surreptitiously recording the conversations cops have with each other when they think no one else is listening.

    1. plus non-cop bars

      1. Plus Reason comments

        1. Plus the Gavin McInnes show.

  9. I started watching it but turned it off after about 10 minutes. Clich? “look at me, I don’t care what you think”. Almost painstakingly trying to prove the point that they don’t give a F— (driving drunk and almost purposefully hitting every parked car on the street followed by the tossing the beer bottle over the shoulder getting out of the car). When a movie mentions a book I tend to realize that they’re trying to portray the book in movie form. The books they mentioned early on, I had not read so I figured the movie was not meant for me.

    Plus I don’t watch cop movies or TV shows. Why do we treat police like these mythical creatures? It’s been overdone.

  10. The last good movie about cops was Terminator. Skynet was a total dick but it knew the score.

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  14. Glad to see Michael Pe?a getting work. (It is way too hard to get the ? to work)

  15. I can’t tell if this is a positive review. At any rate, it seems like the schtick would get old quickly.

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